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Mary Kouyoumdjian

Brooklyn, NY         

MARY KOUYOUMDJIAN (b. 1983) is a composer with projects ranging from concert works to multimedia collaborations and film scores. As a first generation Armenian-American and having come from a family directly affected by the Lebanese Civil War and Armenian Genocide, she uses a sonic palette that draws on her heritage, interest in music as documentary, and background in experimental composition to progressively blend the old with the new.

Kouyoumdjian has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet, Carnegie Hall, Alarm Will Sound/Mizzou International Composers Festival, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, the American Composers Forum/JFund, New York’s WQXR, Music of Remembrance, REDSHIFT, Experiments in Opera, Periapsis Music & Dance, the Nouveau Classical Project, Duo Noire, Sugar Vendil, Friction Quartet, Ensemble Oktoplus, and the Los Angeles New Music Ensemble. Her music was presented by the 2016 NY Philharmonic Biennial at Lincoln Center, and her artist residencies include Roulette/The Jerome Foundation, Montalvo Arts Center, the Mizzou International Composers Festival, and Exploring the Metropolis. Her music has been described as “eloquently scripted” and “emotionally wracking” by The New York Times and as “the most harrowing moments on stage at any New York Performance” by New York Music Daily.  In her work as a composer, orchestrator, and music editor for film, she has collaborated on a diverse array of motion pictures including orchestrating on the soundtracks to The Place Beyond the Pines (Focus Features) and Demonic (Dimension Films). Based in Brooklyn, New York, Kouyoumdjian also actively promotes the growth of new music in her native state of California.

Currently pursuing her Composition D.M.A. as a Teaching Fellow at Columbia University, Kouyoumdjian studies primarily with George Lewis and Georg Friedrich Haas. She holds an M.A. in Scoring for Film & Multimedia from New York University and a B.A. in Music Composition from the University of California, San Diego, where she studied contemporary composition with Chaya Czernowin, Steven Kazuo Takasugi, and Chinary Ung; new music performance with Steven Schick; and modern jazz with Anthony Davis. Kouyoumdjian is a cofounder of the annual new music conference New Music Gathering.

NewMusicBox Articles

Articles December 21 2015 | By Mary Kouyoumdjian
Good Old-Fashioned Human-to-Human Connection on a Very Honest Level

When I heard that Daniel Felsenfeld, Lainie Fefferman, and Matt Marks were creating this conference, I wanted in even though I didn’t really like conferences--they make me think of barriers...